But Trump wrote Tuesday that the fact that the Dallas team then stood up for the national anthem represented “big progress being made.”
The president also claimed that ratings for the NFL were “way down except before game starts, when people tune in to see whether or not our country will be disrespected!” But traditional rating metrics have shifted in recent years as more viewership migrates to mobile devices and streaming services.
Ratings for NFL football are way down except before game starts, when people tune in to see whether or not our country will be disrespected!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 26, 2017
The booing at the NFL football game last night, when the entire Dallas team dropped to its knees, was loudest I have ever heard. Great anger— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 26, 2017
But while Dallas dropped to its knees as a team, they all stood up for our National Anthem. Big progress being made-we all love our country!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 26, 2017
Later Tuesday morning, Trump tweeted that “the only way out” for the NFL is to institute a rule barring players from kneeling during the national anthem.
The NFL has all sorts of rules and regulations. The only way out for them is to set a rule that you can't kneel during our National Anthem!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 26, 2017
Trump’s latest volley came hours after Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones joined his team’s players in kneeling before the national anthem at Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., where the Cowboys were taking on the host Cardinals.
Some in the crowd booed at the display, which Jones later said was “a statement about unity and … a statement about equality.” Arizona players also stood and linked arms during the anthem, but they did not take a knee beforehand.
Players and across the league responded Sunday to Trump by kneeling during the anthem, locking arms and staying in the locker room in a few cases.
During a political rally Friday night in Alabama, Trump said players who kneel during the national anthem should be fired and used a profane term to describe them. He has also urged fans to boycott games if the protests continue.
Colin Kaepernick, a former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, started the form of protest last year as a means to draw attention to unarmed black people being killed by the police and other oppression of minorities.